Minimum housing standards for Queensland tenants

Minimum housing standards

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Ensuring the safety, security, and functionality of all rental properties in Queensland is the goal of minimum housing standards, which came into effect on September 1, 2023. Any new lease signed or renewed after this date must adhere to these standards. For existing tenancies, the minimum housing standards will be enforced from September 1, 2024.

These standards are applicable across various types of rental agreements, including general tenancies, moveable dwellings, and rooming accommodation agreements.

What are minimum housing standards?

Minimum housing standards encompass several criteria, including:

  • Ensuring the property is weatherproof and structurally sound.
  • Maintaining good repair, including fixtures and fittings that do not pose injury risks during normal use.
  • Installing functioning locks or latches on all accessible external doors and windows.
  • Keeping the property free from vermin, damp, and mould, excluding instances caused by tenants.
  • Providing curtains or other window coverings for privacy, especially in areas like bedrooms.
  • Ensuring adequate plumbing and drainage, with access to suitable drinking water.
  • Providing privacy in bathroom areas and ensuring flushable toilets connected to proper waste disposal systems.
  • Having a functional cook-top if a kitchen is provided.
  • Including necessary fixtures for a functional laundry if laundry facilities are provided, though white goods may be supplied by tenants.

Who is responsible for the upkeep of minimum housing standards?

Responsibilities regarding minimum housing standards fall on the owner or property manager, who must ensure compliance at the beginning of the tenancy.

If maintenance issues arise during the tenancy, making the property non-compliant, tenants must promptly inform the owner or property manager, or the designated emergency repair contact listed in the tenancy agreement. It is then the responsibility of the owner or property manager to ensure timely repairs. If the repair means the property no longer meets minimum housing standards, then the repair is classified as an emergency.

What if the property doesn’t meet minimum housing standards?

Tenants have various options if they believe their rental property does not meet minimum housing standards, whether upon moving in or during the tenancy. Different options apply to rooming accommodation and general tenancies, and tenants are encouraged to refer to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) for guidance.

What if the property is part of a body corporate

In instances where a rental property is part of a body corporate, compliance with both minimum housing standards and body corporate by-laws is necessary. There may be cases where repairs to meet minimum housing standards become the responsibility of the body corporate.

See our article Who is Responsible for Maintenance in a Body Corporate.

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